State Director of South Dakota
Julie Gross was named State Director of the USDA Rural Development in South Dakota by the Trump Administration on November 27, 2017. In this capacity, she coordinates the efforts of 53 employees to work with others to ensure use of resources and 40 + programs are serving rural South Dakota residents. As State Director, Gross will use her leadership experience to oversee Rural Development programs in a customer-focused manner to restore prosperity in rural South Dakota.
Gross was born and raised in rural South Dakota. She graduated from South Dakota State University majoring in Sociology with an emphasis in human resources and minors in economics and speech.
Gross has several years of experience working to promote economic and community development. In her previous position as Executive Director of the Lake Area Improvement Corporation, she successfully conducted a capital campaign garnering over $1 million to be used for economic development in Lake County. Under her leadership, the community experienced business expansion, housing growth, new and enhanced partnerships and an efficiently run organization.
Gross launched a community English as a Second Language program three years ago which continues to grow.
Gross understands and appreciates the needs of rural communities. She has worked efficiently and effectively with integrity and a focus on the customer. Her lifelong passion has been to make a difference in the lives of others.
Gross has served in leadership roles in numerous committees for the Chamber of Commerce and other volunteer organizations. She was awarded the bronze leadership award for exemplary leadership in Junior Achievement where she empowered young people to own their economic success.
Gross looks forward to enhancing customer service through the efficient and effective delivery of resources. In some cases, this might mean coming up with solutions that get government out of the way.
Gross will be the eyes and ears of Secretary Perdue in rural South Dakota and will communicate the state’s unique challenges and needs to Washington.
Gross and her husband Allan live on a farm near Madison with their twins, Ally and Dillon. She also has a grown step daughter, Sunni, who lives in Minneapolis.